SmithAir747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1741 posts, RR: 26 Posted (7 years 8 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 26057 times:
How do "boomers" (the large nuclear ballistic missile subs, like the Typhoons) launch their SLBMs?
Say a Soviet SSBN (like the Typhoon class) wanted to launch one of his SLBMs at Fort Wayne, IN (my hometown)...
Can the missiles be launched underwater, without surfacing? Or is it necessary to surface to launch missiles? Do the missiles' rocket engines ignite immediately once the launch keys are turned, or are the rockets somehow boosted out of the silos before the ignition?
Do all SSBNs launch the same way?
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
Wannabe From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 681 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (7 years 8 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 26120 times:
I believe that they are launched from the silo's using compressed air while submerged, with motor ignition occurring as soon as the missle clears the surface of the water. This video shows actual footage of a launch at about the 3 minute mark of the video.
ZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3895 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 8 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 26113 times:
My understanding is that modern U.S. sub use a gas generator to force the missile out of the tube and into the air above surface. Ignition takes place above the water. Some say there is so much gas generated that the missile never even gets wet, which is possible I suppose as the missile is essentially inside a bubble as it goes to the surface.
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Stitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 33967 posts, RR: 85
Reply 3, posted (7 years 8 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 26127 times:
All modern SLBMs are launched using compressed air. This burst is sufficient for the missile to clear the surface of the water at which point the rocket ignites and the missile heads for it's target(s).
The sub will angle itself off to one side to allow for the SLBM to clear the sub if the motor fails to ignite.
SASD209 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Oct 2007, 644 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 8 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 26008 times:
IIRC, one of my old Janes books credited either a UK Resolution class or a USSR Yankee class with being able to launch 16 missiles in 15 minutes. I'll check into the specifics later, but those numbers do ring a bell.
Stitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 33967 posts, RR: 85
Reply 10, posted (7 years 8 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 25808 times:
Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 9): Anyway... what benefit is gained by telling everyone the launch time frame needed for an Ohio class submarine, to launch all of its missiles?
It will keep Iran and North Korea honest?
Seriously, the only time anyOhio class SSBN would unload her entire physics payload was due to an all-out nuclear exchange with Russia or China. And chances are they know how long it would take because they, too, have SSBN fleets.
Stitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 33967 posts, RR: 85
Reply 12, posted (7 years 8 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 25704 times:
Quoting CURLYHEADBOY (Reply 11): Isn't it too long for being safe? I mean, once you launch a missile you give away your position, and 30 minutes looks quite enough for the enemy to find and sink you...
I remain of the opinion that the Russians (and definitely the Chinese) do not know where our SSBN's are. So even when missiles start popping out of the ocean, they will be unable to bring any weapon to bare on those SSBNs before they have completed their firing sequence.
Also, the D-5 missile's range allows our SSBNs to stay much closer to home where they can be better protected during times of crisis.
BlackProjects From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2007, 756 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (7 years 8 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 25695 times:
Some Boomer Captains used to use a technique called shoot and Scoot, Meaning you fire one and Go Deep and Vanish for a bit but with the amount of Stuff being let loose in a full scale MAD Launch no one would have the time to fire on a Single Boomer let alone send an Aircraft out to sink it when its normaly Thousands of Miles away from the Bad guys.
As every Man and his Dog would be lobbing Missiles at each other all at the same time.
Quoting Stitch (Reply 3): clear the surface of the water at which point the rocket ignites and the missile heads for it's target(s).
I believe the motor ignites when the missile just starts to "fall back" into the water. The "negative" Gs is what fires the motor.If you watch the video, it looks like the missile just about "stops" and starts to fall back and the motor fires. But I could be worng.
Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 2): Some say there is so much gas generated that the missile never even gets wet, which is possible I suppose as the missile is essentially inside a bubble as it goes to the surface.
Sounds good, as I would want a missile to fail just cuz some sea water got into it. And adding waterproofing would add a lot of weight not needed for filght.
Regardless, the point went beyond this narrow subject, and spoke to the larger issue.
I wasn't telling him to shut up, or smacking his dick in the dirt for daring to ask such a question. I was simply raising a valid issue: sometimes we talk about stuff that seems harmless, but in the larger context, might be considered harmful.
I've done it a few times myself. In fact, there are a few posts I later requested be removed, because I thought there was stuff that ought not be there.
I am not sure if a submarine's complete missile launch time frame is common knowledge... but I do not think there is anything wrong with us taking a second to wonder if what we're publishing, ought to be published.
Cloudy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (7 years 8 months 3 days ago) and read 25222 times:
Quoting Slz396 (Reply 18): This class of submarine reportedly carries 20 BMs, with 10 warheads each and it only takes a few minutes to knock an entire continent off the map, with our without missile defence shield.
US missile defenses are not currently deployed or advertised as "star wars" style game changers. The current system is meant only for rogue state/accidental/or unauthorized launches.
Also, 200 warheads could not "knock a continent off the map". That is a gross exaggeration, though it is understandable why it is commonly believed. Hiroshima and Nagasaki's casualties were higher because those cities were essentially super dense tinderboxes. Most modern cities are not built like that. Nuclear weapons ARE very destructive. But they are not THAT destructive. Nuclear war would really, really suck. But it would not be the end of the world. At that level, it probably wouldn't even be the end of the countries involved if one is thinking of countries as large as China, Russia or the US.
One needs about 10 modern warheads to simply destroy an entire major, first world city. Or two to three of the huge cold war Titan II warheads. If you lobbed a 500 kiloton warhead into Chicago, you would probably kill a few hundred thousand people and cause a lot of damage within a certain radius. But the vast bulk of the metro area would remain intact.
So you can destroy most of 20 metro areas in all of, say North America with 200 warheads. Perhaps 10-15 would be in the US. Even in these areas there would be many survivors, but there would be casualties in some untargeted areas because of fallout. It would still be a bad day for everybody, to be sure. But the vast majority of the continent's population would survive. Worse things have happened to many countries that in the end survived and prospered.
Note this assumes a deliberate targeting of cities, and that all the warheads survived. That is the absolute worse case. If one assumes military bases are the main targets, the picture changes. Many of these are in isolated areas, and one needs more than one warhead from different missiles aimed at the same target to be sure of destroying any given base. A lot of potential targets are hardened, and that increases the number of warheads required dramatically. In this kind of strike we are looking at "only" a few million killed, mostly by fallout. Modern Russian and Western nuclear forces are designed for this kind of strike - over time nukes have traded yield for accuracy and number of warheads per delivery
device. Yet even with the lower yields, many missiles carry a lot fewer warheads then they can. This is because arms control agreements require a reduction of the total number of warheads, and this is the easiest way to do it.
Another factor to be considered is that it is more then likely that some of of a subload of SLBM's would be duds. The working missiles would no doubt contain a few dud warheads as well. For obvious reasons, its hard to test the beasts in completely realistic conditions. This means there would be considerably less then 200 warheads surviving.
The lesson in this is that it may not be as hard as one thinks to reduce the level of nuclear weapons in the world below the amount necessary to destroy civilization. A few hundred nuclear warheads is NOT the same as the thousands currently in US and Russian arsenals. If the US, Russia and China limited themselves to a couple hundred warheads - and other nuclear states were content with a handful, that would essentially eliminate the threat of a civilization-killing nuclear war. But it would leave enough to serve as a major deterrent to conventional wars between nuclear powers. It would also be enough to make cheating unprofitable - even if one were able hide a few extra from modern spy sats, it would still not be enough to make a difference in a war.
CURLYHEADBOY From Italy, joined Feb 2005, 961 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (7 years 8 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 25174 times:
Quoting Cloudy (Reply 20): US missile defenses are not currently deployed or advertised as "star wars" style game changers. The current system is meant only for rogue state/accidental/or unauthorized launches.
I agree, though politically it's hard for the US to get this message through diffidence.
Quoting Cloudy (Reply 20): One needs about 10 modern warheads to simply destroy an entire major, first world city. Or two to three of the huge cold war Titan II warheads. If you lobbed a 500 kiloton warhead into Chicago, you would probably kill a few hundred thousand people and cause a lot of damage within a certain radius. But the vast bulk of the metro area would remain intact.
Hard to tell... but remember most of Russia's warheads are larger than the western ones, at least 1 Megaton each meaning they severely affect an area of up to 9 miles from ground zero, making it 18 miles across (it may depend if it's an airburst or whether it explodes on the ground) and in a densely populated area such as Chicago it may very well cause casualties ecxeeding one million.
If God had wanted men to fly he would have given them more money...
NicoEDDF From Turks and Caicos Islands, joined Jan 2008, 1158 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (7 years 8 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 25137 times:
Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 17): I am not sure if a submarine's complete missile launch time frame is common knowledge... but I do not think there is anything wrong with us taking a second to wonder if what we're publishing, ought to be published.
Has anyone here first hand knowledge of such issues? I doubt it.
So in any case I would suspect that any important nation in the world will have the question answered long ago, if they would considered it worthwhile.
And I further doubt that any nation is surfing a.net or any other website for that matter, to gain information about the launch sequence of any SSBN floating around in the dark blue...
I think you have a point, but I'd suggest that discussing a topic like this is not a problem in itself, but it certainly can lead to individuals releasing sensitive information when trying to be helpful, or just trying to impress others with their knowledge.
I think that it is primarily the responsible of the person who has the information to determine what they can and can't say. Very few people are trying to influence their judgment or goad them into publicly releasing confidential data. As I said above, human nature sometimes leads individuals to do just that on forums, but I wanted to see some publicly available information combined with the inferences of some knowledgeable board members, and not intend to encourage those with restricted information to disclose it.
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13591 posts, RR: 76
Reply 24, posted (7 years 8 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 25079 times:
Oddly, the RN nickname thier SSBN's Bombers , it's not a misheard copy of Boomer either. But something arrived at independently.
(On one doc about subs, some who had served on RN Polaris/Chevaline boats, said they passed the time on long dull patrols, by on one boat, installing a 'Scaletric' slot car racing track around the missile compartment, another had a 'crazy golf' course in it's place!)
: I've found it, finally! Janes Fighting Ships in the 1961-1962 edition credits the US George Washington class with being able to launch all 16 missile
: Yes, quite a lot of folks when you think about it. But none that will speak of such issues without very good justification. It is not called the "sil
: I believe each sub test launches one or 2 birds every few years. Reliability of delivery is well better than 95%. There are 14 Trident subs with up t
: We wern't talking about total nuclear war, we were talking about a single subload. Civilization would survive a single subload. A large country such
: In total? Yes, surely. Here on a.net? No, I don't think so. Some may, not many though. (That's why I wrote "here" in my first statement )
: If you're really interested in how certain tonnage would effect certain land areas, use this yield detonation effect simulator: http://meyerweb.com/er
: " target=_blank>http://meyerweb.com/eric/tools/gmap/...d=100 Quite interesting, seeing how a 100 MPH wind (higher than most locations in the US) has
: What a fascinating thread! Thank you, posters. One issue that has not been addressed is fall-out - we're mostly looking at structural damage. While it
: Worse for us than for Russians. They increase the yield of their warheads by encasing them in U235 to get a fission-fusion-fission reaction. It makes
: Globalsecurity.org and FAS.org have excellent references about this topic. I believe the consensus is < 20KT is the most likely expected tonnage. SAS
: Thank you! Now to google 'Nuclear Winter'... btw, I was reflecting on UH60's comments, but everything's out in plain sight on Wiki and with first pag
: Absolutely right. And when you realise how much these things weigh, that's a LOT of gas. That would surprise me. The very first, last and continuing
: I know of one ex Boomer resident who frequents A-net. He has a t-shirt that says "24 empty tubes. Now it's Miller time"
: I have a suspicion there's another one too.. (not me, I hasten to add ) Rgds
: The sub would angle itself prior to commencing launches.
: I have to admit that this is one I've not heard before...... I've certainly not seen it being incorporated into the technical specifications for the
: As unlikely as it sounds, it certainly would be very easy to induce, say, a 5 degree list to the launch side before launch. Assuming of course that wa
: A very valid point... For what it's worth, the crash would not be particularly dramatic - the submarine itself is after all, under the water. "Splash
: One correction: the encasing is made of U-238, which can be used for fission with high energy neutrons (rather low yield, though).
: Not sure if a joke, but the missiles get completely wet when the outer doors open. They do not open quick enough for the missile to be fired and rema
: Not a joke - As you say though, check out the video. If you look at the video in reply 1 you can clearly see pieces of the frangible capsule the miss
: Do a google images search on "Trident SLBM" and you'll find images of tridents coming out of the water at all sorts of angles... Including this one..